First Production Scale Test of Giant King Grass Grinding Equipment for Nicaragua Power Plant
VIASPACE Inc. (OTCQB: VSPC) conducted a full production scale test of Giant King Grass grinding equipment on February 18, 2014 in Portland, Oregon. 6,000 pounds of 18 foot tall Giant King Grass stalks were cut and shredded in a few minutes in a test of a candidate grinder for the 12 MW Giant King Grass power plant being developed in Nicaragua.
The grinding test was conducted on a large, stationary, horizontal grinder manufactured by West Salem Machinery Company of Salem, Oregon that was installed at the Greenway Recycling Facility in Portland, Oregon. Three tons of Giant King Grass were harvested from the VIASPACE propagation nursery in California and were then transported to Portland for the test.
VIASPACE CEO Dr. Carl Kukkonen reported, "When Giant King Grass is ready for harvest, each plant has 15 to 25 stalks, and each stalk is 16 to 20 feet tall. The Giant King Grass must be cut into smaller pieces in order to be used in a power plant or biofuels facility. This size reduction and shredding can be done as part of harvest with a forage harvester, or whole stalks can be harvested and transported to a central processing facility adjacent to the power plant where an electrically powered processing system can be utilized (as opposed to using diesel powered machines in the field). The latter approach is being used in Nicaragua."
"An electrically powered grinder is lower cost and has lower maintenance than a diesel powered grinder. We plan to install the grinder in our fuel processing and short-term storage facility just outside the power plant. Since it is a stationary and large machine, the only way to test it was to bring the Giant King Grass to the grinder. That is what we did. Our production needs are 36 tons per hour, 24 hours per day, and 365 days per year."
"I met with the West Salem Machinery team and visited their facilities where they manufacture their mill duty equipment. I want to thank Greenway Recycling for interrupting their business and allowing us to use their equipment for the Giant King Grass grinding test."
West Salem Machinery CEO, Mark Lyman stated, "Our company is family owned and has been in business since 1947. We make heavy duty, industrial strength, stationary grinders for the biomass, wood processing and recycling industries. We have installations at biomass power plants and biofuels facilities in the US and overseas. While we knew early on that our machine installed at Greenway Recycling was not ideally configured to process Giant King Grass, we were able to determine from this test that a customized version of our Titan-Series Horizontal Grinder would be capable of processing up to 40 tons per hour of raw stalks to a 50-100 mm sized fuel product suitable for the VIASPACE Giant King Grass power plant application. The full scale test was very important, because now we know exactly what Giant King Grass is and how to optimize our machine and the material flow for this application."
VIASPACE Chairman, Dr. Kevin Schewe, commented, "It takes energy to make energy and in this case we are using the sun and agriculture to efficiently produce Giant King Grass and then converting that product (or stored energy) to usable electricity that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We now have proof of concept that we can use an electrically powered grinder to prepare Giant King Grass for direct combustion in our Nicaragua power plant at a lower cost, lower maintenance and lower carbon emissions than using diesel powered grinding. Our overall corporate objective is not only to show our customers and partners how to use Giant King Grass as the most productive biomass platform in the world but also to demonstrate the very best method to efficiently convert Giant King Grass to electricity using the most profitable and reliable business model. Then we have a duplicative business model of 'growing your own electricity' that can be replicated anywhere in the world with land, water and a suitable climate for growing Giant King Grass. I am pleased to report that we continue to move forward on multiple fronts and I am more enthusiastic than ever regarding the direction and pace of progress for our company and its shareholders."
About West Salem MachineryCo.
Founded in 1947, West Salem Machinery is a US based manufacturer of mill-duty biomass processing machinery and systems. With a focus on innovation and product/process improvement, WSM delivers superior processing solutions for a wide range of biomass feedstock materials, including purpose-grown energy and feed crops such as Giant King Grass. WSM specializes in stationary, electrically driven equipment designed for 24/7 operation that can be found in the most demanding applications around the world, including biomass power plants, pulp & paper mills, pellet production lines, bio-refineries, and cellulosic ethanol plants. Customers count on WSM to provide processing solutions built to perform and built to last. Contact WSM today for more information and visit their website at www.westsalem.com.
About VIASPACE Inc.
VIASPACE grows renewable Giant King((TM) )Grass as a low-carbon fuel for clean electricity generation; for environmentally friendly energy pellets; and as a feedstock for bio-methane production and for green cellulosic biofuels, biochemicals and biomaterials. Giant King Grass is a proprietary, high yield, dedicated biomass clean energy crop. Giant King Grass when it is cut frequently at 4 to 5 feet tall is also excellent animal feed. The USDA granted approval for planting Giant King Grass throughout the US and cooperates in exporting by performing the required inspections and issuing the phytosanitary certificate needed for import into foreign countries. Giant King Grass is being grown in California, Arizona, Hawaii, St. Croix Virgin Islands, Nicaragua, South Africa, China, Myanmar and Pakistan. For more information, please go to www.VIASPACE.com or contact Dr. Jan Vandersande, Director of Communications, at 800-517-8050 or IR@VIASPACE.com.
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Information in this news release includes forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Such factors include, without limitation, risks outlined in our periodic filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012, and other factors over which VIASPACE has little or no control.
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